Subtitled "A Personal Journey" (for those who may wish to avoid the Personal) or "Whatever Happened to Silence" (my rant), or perhaps, "Peaceful Solutions to Situations Which Appear to Invite Warfare".
Yes, I should probably first explore the local Quaker groups, but it's not convenient where I am residing just now, so y'all are my "go to peeps". ;o)
I have a specific incident in mind, though I hope to open this up to suggestions for civilized rejoinders in general. If you so choose, please follow below the whateverit'sbeingcalledtoday icon...
I suspect that (my own) aggressive behavior is stimulated by feelings of helplessness and, much to my shame, impatience. I just don't know what else to do ... so kill 'em all (as it were) or blow it up and start over again. (and, yes, I am deliberately dating mySelf by using these phrases from my youth)
I'll give a specific example of a difficult situation where I am presently unable to think of a sensitive, peaceful behavior to perform. Perhaps you've been there and can offer suggestions of which I've not yet thought, or perhaps you can at least relate to my frustration.
And I'm open to deleting this diary if that is what the Community deems best.
BACKGROUND: For the past 12 years, since taking early retirement and existing on a very minimal income, I've been homeless and without a vehicle of my own. However, I've held, in some years, live-in positions caring for the properties and pets/livestock of long-time friends, which have included access to various vehicles as needed. During the off times, another friend has made available to me his "spare" room as needed. I am greatly aware of the incredibly fortuitous position I occupy in these times which are so difficult for so many others.
NOW: Having spent most of the summer amongst friends I greatly enjoy, living in a favorite mountain community which is also near the ocean, but relatively isolated in that the nearest very small "town" is a minimum of 12 minutes away through the forest and very near, in the other direction, to the boundaries of a State Park, I am returned to my friend's spare room where he now lives in a housing development in California's central valley suburbia ... and, after only 3 days, the noise is driving me to distraction.
I tell myself it is only a matter of becoming acclimated. I will be able to "tune out" the noise and appreciate the gifts that reside herein.
That's not working.
(Perhaps) AN ASIDE: I have had many, though relatively brief, periods in my life wherein I have practiced Silence. Even when raising my son there were times when I explained, in advance, that I needed to be quiet for a time, in order to regain my "balance" (for lack of a better term just now). Since I first began this practice, it has amazed me how much others (and, alas, I) NEED to fill silence -- even when the filling adds nothing -- and sometimes actively detracts! I quickly found, especially with my young son, there was almost nothing so important to convey that I needed to resort to the inconvenience of writing a note. Nearly every utterance would have been ego-driven ... and unnecessary. I even learned, much to my shame, how often my words, should they be spoken, might have been demeaning, insulting or at least negative...
I learned to appreciate the empathy of others. Oftentimes, especially when checking out at a retail business and the clerical staff would reach for my notepad and pen to respond to my note, I would have to mime that I was choosing not to speak, but was able to hear them -- they didn't need to write as well!
TO CONTINUE: TODAY My most recent time away was for three weeks, and I had hoped the situation with the neighbor behind might have somehow been resolved. This is that they moved here from a larger, perhaps less "safe" community wherein they found it necessary to acquire a very large German Shepherd dog trained for security. However, in today's world, this dog "alerts" to every noise imaginable, including every time I open the sliding door into our very narrow backyard area, which is the only relatively private space I have in which to enjoy the outdoors. He doesn't just bark once, but continues incessantly. Over the several months they have been here, my housemate has had an opportunity to speak to them on another subject, during which time they apologized for and explained the dog's behavior. However, although they attempt to curtail it when they are home, the behavior continues unabated when they are out. And, even when they are home, it is impossible to sit quietly in the small outdoor space without him continuing to "alert" ... and I admit to a lot of jumpiness...
In addition to impulsive yelling, I have attempted, using my most soothing voice (and I've been advised it is very soothing indeed), to let the furperson know I am here to stay, he's OK, and I mean no harm.
He's not buyin' it.
I've also, on my walks around the neighborhood, instigated a conversation with another neighbor as he was walking his two German Shepherds, asking for advice. He had nothing to offer except that, in his experience, this breed can be so completely focused (especially when trained for security) it is extremely difficult to train them not to alert to potential threats. His own "fix" is to simply never leave them unattended.
So now I come to what, if anything, to do? Well, today (admittedly not one of my best) I resorted to leaving the patio door open and turning up my housemate's speakers fairly (OK, very) loud and playing a variety of blues, classic rock and jazz. Someone was apparently home and called the dog into the house.
I feel crappy.
I'll be leaving within 2 weeks for another 5-day stint in the mountains but suspect I'll be here for at least most, if not all, of the Winter -- during which I have never been at my best. I imagine I need to go around and speak to the neighbors. I'm reluctant -- partly because I'm not the primary house-occupier here ... OK that's a copout. I don't really know what, if anything, to say since they've already apologized to him.
(My housemate has some sort of device that will electronically, remotely, send an uncomfortable signal so the furperson will cease barking. I've convinced him his life is at risk from me should he do so.)
And, housemate, with work and commute, is away from home 5, sometimes 6, days per week, at a minimum of 12 hours per day.
I should also add that, from the time they arise, to the time they're abed, the noise is constant from their house ... their voices are loud -- especially when yelling at the children -- as is their music. However, I must acknowledge this is mostly during the day and only occasionally late into the night, so I accept that my discomfort is simply my own to deal with there as it is only my wish to be able to spend as much time as possible outside, though I much enjoy the moon as well. And, with winter and closed doors/windows, maybe the dog's and their noise will be less difficult for me to accept.
My interest in learning from y'all however, is sincere and I will welcome any comments you may have concerning this little scenario or any bigger pictures. Tempest in a Teapot? Maybe. Peace. :o)
PS - I don't dislike dogs. I've had some beloved ones in the past and I often petsit now for a couple I love. Though my current lifestyle affords no pets, I enjoy many furpersons (cats & dogs) but realized long ago I prefer the relatively low-maintenance involved with pooties. ;o)
Did I go too far there in attempting to appease the woozle&pootiefolk?
Albeitwhatmay, still sincere. :o)
AND tags are still beyond me so help will only be appreciated.